TV showdown mooted for US sprint queens
June 27, 20124:06PM
Jeneba Tarmoh, left, and Allyson Felix look on after dead-heating in the women's 100m at the US Olympic trials
in Oregon. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images
THERE are almost as many suggestions for how to settle the women's 100m mess involving Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh as there are competitors at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials.
Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third place, and the last London Olympic berth on offer, in Saturday's women's 100m final, a situation for which USA Track and Field had no protocols in place to handle.
Both Felix and Tarmoh will go to London as members of the US 4x100 relay pool by finishing in the two spots behind winner Carmelita Jeter, the reigning world 100m champion, and runner-up Tianna Madison in the women's 100m final.
But only one of them will have the chance to join Jeter and Madison in the women's 100 and hope to become the first US woman to win Olympic gold in the event since Gail Devers in 1996.
USA Track and Field came up with a plan signed off on by the US Olympic Committee last Sunday, allowing one athlete to drop out, both to settle the issue with a coin flip or to have a run-off to decide the berth.
Whatever option is taken must come by Sunday's conclusion of the meet, which also sees Felix and Tarmoh trying to qualify for London in the women's 200m with opening heats Thursday, semi-finals Friday and a Saturday final.
Former 100m Olympic and world champion and world record-holder Maurice Greene wants to see a made-for-television showdown run-off to bring greater attention to athletics by American audiences.
"Tell (US Olympic telecaster) NBC to give them $2 million and have a run-off," Greene said. "This will supersede every other race. This means something. It's for the last spot.
"You tell me NBC couldn't sell that to sponsors and put on a 30-minute show?"
Greene dismissed the notion of a coin flip, saying, "being an athlete, no, you don't want that."
US Olympic women's coach Amy Deem wants to let the women focus on trying to reach London in the 200 and then settle it with Bob Kersee, who coaches both Felix and Tarmoh.
"All of us need to take a step back, let them now refocus on making the team in the 200 and then let the two women and Bobby focus on that," she said. "Everything will kind of fall into place after the 200."
Some media critics have ripped into USA Track and Field for not producing better solutions to decide the issue, but Greene said the dispute is "good for the sport. It's bringing attention."
Last edited by Admin on Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:07 am; edited 2 times in total